Preview: London Design Biennale takes over Somerset House this September

We report from the launch of the London Design Biennale at Somerset House – a prestigious global event where the world’s nations present newly commissioned works in contemporary design, design-led innovation, creativity and research – to hear which countries and designers will be participating, and to get a sneak peek of the design concepts to expect.

Produced by the team behind the London Design Festival, the curated three-week-long Biennale will overlap the festival, bringing a new international element to London.

Somerset House will host the inaugural London Design Biennale from 7 to 27 September, adding a new highlight to the cultural calendar in the heart of the city. Expect to see the Somerset House in its entirety transformed into a utopian wonderland, the theme of this year’s Design Biennale in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s classic.

Over 30 countries throughout the six continents will present their utopian ideas to act as a catalyst for debate and conversation on global issues that are affecting our world today, such as sustainability, migration and social equality; and show how design-led thinking can act as a solution. Mexican architect and urbanist Fernanado Romero will be exploring the potential of charter cities, German designer Konstantin Grcic’s installation will look at the psychological roots of Utopia and Greece’s project will contextualise current population movements. The UK will be represented by London-based design duo, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, with an installation curated by the V&A Museum. You’ll also see installations curated by the leading museums and design organisations in the world, including Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (USA), DAMnation (Belgium), German Design Council, Moscow Design Museum (Russia), Triennale Design Museum (Italy), India Design Forum, Southern Guild (South Africa) and The Japan Foundation.

And you’d be wrong to think that this is just your average exhibition with nothing but static installations dotted around. Prepare to feel fully immersed by the world under one roof as you wander through interactive design areas as well as enjoy visual essays, talks and workshops organised by the participating countries. Head to for the full list of participants.

Tickets for London Design Biennale 2016, taking place at Somerset House, London between 7 – 27 September, are on sale now at